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Everything posted by AmoProbos

  1. just spent three hours climbing various walls of rock. I feel like I've been doing a handstand on cheese graters.

  2. "...Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours." - Ayn Rand

  3. And so, the valid discussion to be had regards who creates these laws and whether or not they are rational? Does my original premise hold on a private road? If I own a road, and I stipulate that there are no speed limits, is that rationally acceptable and legally justifiable*, so long as, in the event of a collision, both parties are adjusted properly in court? I thought that Objectivism was a philosophy for an obtainable and nearly-perfect world. Is that an incorrect description? Assuming "perfect" strictly means an adherence to Objectivist principles. *I don't want to muddy the discussion with an "is/ought" dichotomy. I realize that it may not be legally justifiable now to establish such a road, but my question is not of current actualities. Rather, it is a question of "ought".
  4. I suppose our work is cut out for us, then.
  5. I am under the impression that most, if not all, driving laws are, with regard to objectivism, unethical and impinge upon the rights of motorists. As an example, I submit speed limits as, at least on a public road, unethical. Should I not have the freedom to drive as slowly or quickly as I see fit, according to my own personal motive? And if, by chance, I slam head-on into another vehicle at 140mph of twisted metal and torn flesh, should I not be responsible for the damage I've caused? My point is this: Aren't speed limit laws implementations of that evil principle of equating the potential with the actual? I could drive 90mph and kill a child, yes; I could also drive 165mph, without a limiter perhaps, and cause no harm or injury to anyone. For the same reasons that I should be allowed to build, maintain, and use a weapon, shouldn't I be free to speed? Of course, this all applies to a public road. I understand that if roads were privatized, it would be up to the owner of the road, in agreement with the motorists. And I realize that my post is only vaguely related to the specifics of your post, but I thought this was an appropriate topic in which to begin this dialog.
  6. My girlfriend and I discuss this, at length, constantly. On a fundamental level of definition, what the hell is a minor? I agree with the OP's statement - that there are "minors" who make rational decisions and employ the faculty of reason. I shy away from discussions of a "line", or a certain age at which we become fully rational, simply because that seems to evade the still unresolved issue of definition. If a minor is defined as incapable of thinking rationally, then a child who does think rationally is not a minor, and should therefore be afforded the individual rights and freedoms of an adult, right? I suppose the real question at hand regards the measurement of rational faculty. How, and by whom? What determines full rational faculty, and who, officially, determines it?
  7. What defines an aggressor? At what point does someone become labeled as such, so that voluntarily doing business with them poses the possibility of a threat? Obviously, I could sell wheat to my neighbor. If my neighbor turns that wheat into a wheat bomb, and kills everyone in my neighborhood with it, am I at fault as well? Have I initiated force? Not directly, no. But, according to your post, by extension, I have. The only difference between my scenario and a scenario with someone deemed an "aggressor" is... what exactly? This is so reminiscent of Minority Report to me. I need some clarification, Dave.
  8. As I've prefaced above, I am by no means well into the story. But from what I have read thus far, I seem to echo Keating's comparing his skills to those of his working counterparts and superiors. Tyco has added that Keating takes credit for Roark's work, which I have read an instance of already. In that quality, I am unlike Keating. I see no desire to take credit from another's work. It would feel like both stealing and lying; indeed, it would be intellectually (unless the person gave permission). I think claire made a great point. There is no harm in pursuing the qualities of the characters from Rand's works, but there is no sense in expecting to become Galt, or, in this case, Roark. That is as senseless as expecting 100% yield in a chemical reaction.
  9. I've tackled Atlas Shrugged, The Virtue of Selfishness, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, and Philosophy: Who Needs it?, and now, acting as AS's opposing fictional bookstop, I'm conquering The Fountainhead. Conquering, however, is an inappropriately brazen term. I'm only reading intermittently, but enjoying it thoroughly. I find myself constantly comparing myself to the characters in the story, as I did in AS. I realize that each prominent character represents a philosophical analogue, and I am always curious to see how I stack up in comparison. Though while I was hoping to find myself similar to Roark, much to my dismay, I see myself more clearly as Peter Keating. What's worse, I'm seeing (only, at most, 50 pages within the text) the disgusting outcome of his character. Could someone, without providing any plot spoilers, please remove the fictional dressing upon Keating, and explain his philosophical faults? Other than that he derives his own personal value upon the opinions of others. Or is that it? I place a high value upon myself, but I can't help but notice that I also derive a certain value from the opinions of others. Whatever my philosophical fault may be, I know that it is rectifiable, and I only need a bit of knowledge. So what, in essence, is a Keating?
  10. I'm back, and I am unqualified to counter this argument. I posted the Yaron Brook/Don Watkins article "Stop Blaming Capitalism for Government Failures", and this is the rebuttal: This also shows that I, in fact, did not quit posting in the thread. I just couldn't leave well enough alone, I suppose.
  11. Though I am aware that this thread has evolved into a discussion of innate contracts, I thought I'd share my final conclusion from the other forum. I chose to surrender, because it became increasingly clear to me that, even after countering their points, my opponents would continue in their irrationality: ""I assume this is some of Amo's nonsense. I don't read hist posts because, well, they're nonsense from someone who just enjoys arguing because he thinks it shows how smart he is. Only a real idiot would believe what he says here." You aren't lying; you obviously failed to read my post, because you have claimed that I post nothing but nonsense, though you've failed to show how what I've said is nonsensical. I do hold the opinion of the minority, especially in this forum, but that does not negate my statements as untrue, simply because they are unpopular. Your insinuation that the seller is responsible for the education of the buyer is absolutely incredulous. It is the buyer's responsibility to educate himself about any product, and saying that healthcare is "too complex" only belittles the ability of the human mind, and only attempts to paint man as some poor slave to capitalism, unable to better himself. That is patently untrue. Just as the men and women who operate the healthcare industry were able to learn about their trade, consumers are able to learn it too. Forgive me for considering mankind able and rational. And in the case of health insurance, your blatant little false analogy is lacking. It would be rational to shop for health insurance before someone was stricken with a painful condition. Regardless, it is not the health insurer's responsibility to provide a person with health insurance, simply because they are in pain and are "incapable of thinking". That, sir, is nonsensical. And on you, I think even Van Mises would say to give up. To all who have followed this conversation diligently, I applaud you. Those who disagree with me will attempt - indeed, have attempted - to draw me as a heartless monster. They have tried to paint me as a backwards, selfish, and even dangerous radical. They have decried my support of capitalism as prehistoric and outdated. To those who think me thus, I say this: Is it selfish to recognize my right to life and property, and to respect those very rights for everyone else? I think not. Is capitalism outdated, even though it has never been allowed to function, always swallowed immediately by regulation? I think not. The absolute nonsense of blaming capitalism for the ravages produced by collectivism, and blaming capitalists for the larcenies committed by collectivists is pitiful, almost childlike. It is clear that engaging any of you was a mistake. Literally none of you have grasped the concept of actual logic. All of you are suckers to the trend, and slaves to your emotions. While that, alone, worries me not, it is when you decide that your shackles best fit around the ankles of others that I object. I will continue to object to your impositions of force, be them in the name of the "public good" or "whole" or "nation" or "the children". I will continue to object to your assaults upon my property, because that is what is happening. You know it, and you don't care. But you will one day, and hopefully by then I will have eloped to the rationality of Galt's Gulch, to a world where men are truly free to work and play as they choose. When you've finally filed bankruptcy on all of your bloody debt and the world comes crashing down to rubble at your parasitic feet, I hope that I am away in a society for individuals, not "the people" - a society of men, not slaves or animals. You could at least have the common courtesy to erect a cage around your madness. Why not isolate yourselves and start your own country under your principles? Is that "too radical"? Or is it just that you'd rather leech from my pocket?"
  12. She's come such a long way from defying tyranny at Bannockburn. She's come such a long way from Adam Smith. She's come such a long way from freedom. What happened to my Scotland of 1314?
  13. For those who haven't read the linked discussion, I strongly suggest you give it a reading, if only for the entertainment. He gave up after round 2, which was fairly surprising. I thought he would endure at least a few more turns. If you find no humor in me satirizing and blatantly belittling an altrusit, then you might consider skipping it. But if you sail on the opposite ship, jump on in.
  14. If you visited the thread, then this may be redundant, but I replied to his question with "Nothing. Nothing should be done by a society in that situation, since it is only a collection of individuals." I added, of course, that it was up to individuals to decide whether or not to assist. With regard to his original question, I feel comfortable in my response. It was simply the contractual pert that hung me up. Perusing this discussion, however, I am inclined to side with 2046, softwarenerd, and now apparently VcatoV, and the "no social contract" argument.
  15. Agreed. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have used the phrase. It was one of the "talking points" he was denouncing, however, and I wanted to see how he'd answer it.
  16. Today, I picked a fight on an anti-conservative website that you may or may not have heard of, coffepartyusa. I jumped into a discussion about healthcare (you can read the whole thread here) and met resistance with the OP. I feel as though I did fairly well (not by formal debate standards, certainly, but by casual scuffle standards), but one statement he made irked me. I rebuked it, but for some reason his assertion is still bothering me. I think I'm getting hooked up on the contractual bit. I'll explain. I asked him, "Is taxation theft?" because he referenced that earlier, and he replied with this: "No. If you are an American citizen, it is by your choice. If you live in America, it is by your choice. By making either or both of these choices you tacitly agree to abide by the laws of the land, and the laws of the land authorize the government to collect taxes and spend them as the government sees fit. This authority does not require your personal approval for either the collecting or the spending. You have three representatives in Congress, so it is not taxation without representation. Therefore, the collection of taxes is not stealing, and if you don't like it you're free to move to a country where no one will demand you pay taxes to support anything you don't want to pay for. Somalia might be an option." Feel free to read my reply on the forum. Bear in mind that none of my responses are polished and they probably have a fair share of their own flaws. I also used too many expletives, which I realize is crass and I regret using, but I got a little heated. Let me know where I slipped up. And if this turns into a grilling of my own logic instead of his, then so be it, so long as I learn something. Thanks!
  17. Their horseback finesse is unmatched. It is directly from them that we can appreciate that ever-popular sport of killing people while riding a horse. In the face of these lofty masters of all things equestrian, it is obvious that the greatest civilization was, and always will be, the Mongols. I'm just screwing with you, I voted Greece.
  18. Out of curiosity, what are you majoring in? And why have you never been happier? Nevermind, I see you have already answered that.
  19. Thank you. I just didn't consider the distinction between voting issues. When you think about tax voting, it is obvious. But other things muddy the water a bit.
  20. You hit the nail on the head regarding my last post. I can see why 99% of people wanting something done seems arbitrary to impede if 1% disagrees, but if a vote has anything to do with taxes or property or rights, then does not that 1% hold the same value as the 99%, since their common denominator is the individual? I guess my question is this: What is a fair majority vote? 51%? 2/3? 99%?
  21. A scenario that seems to beckon to me as a just example of unanimous voting would be in the case of taxation. I'm aware that Objectivism frowns upon taxation, but bear with me. In the land of 100, there are, you guessed it, one hundred citizens. A majority of the citizens (exactly 51 of them), travel nearly the same way to and from work and home, respectively. There has been no road system erected, and none of the citizens have the time or expertise to build a decent road. They therefore decide to vote for the installation of a new road, to be completed by a government-funded team of road-makers. This vote obviously involves a tax increase. If 51 people vote for this, does it not violate the individual rights of the remaining 49 citizens? That is classified as majority voting, though. Someone mentioned "good enough is good enough". That, to me, just doesn't seem like an Objectivist response to anything. I remember reading somewhere that Ayn Rand disliked "shades of gray", and that decisions were black and white; that things were one way or another. Leaving decision-making up to some scant majority doesn't seem to reflect Objectivism.
  22. I haven't seen my favorite genre, let alone any of my favorite bands, on here yet. Although that is to be expected, since finding music for me involves looking for the least talked-about bands. Though I do love Rush and many other classic-rock bands, and they seem to recur here often. My absolute favorite band is Frightened Rabbit, a four-piece Scottish indie group. They released their newest album, The Midnight Organ Fight, in 2008, and I have listened to it more times than I can count. This, to me, is musical gold. I've found nothing explicitly Objectivist in their lyrics, and if I were to really try and interpret them I would likely be forced to classify them as emotionally-driven. Then again, what lyrical music isn't? Is not emotion the driving force behind most songs? Regardless, other bands I enjoy include Les Savy Fav, Whitey, The View, Glasvegas, Mogwai, The Fratellis, Franz Ferdinand, Dear and the Headlights, Band of Horses, The White Stripes, and Twilight Sad.
  23. In an Objectivist society, would there be a need for voting? And certainly, if there were, voting would be determined unanimously, correct? Majority voting does not support individual rights. I am trying to argue for unanimous voting (similar to voting procedures in a jury. If you have seen 12 Angry Men or the recent Russian remake 12, you know what I mean) in my government class, and the biggest argument against it is that it is arbitrary, slow, and not practical. In a sense, I can see why that is the case. But I know that unanimous voting is the only way to truly preserve the individual's rights, especially regarding taxation. A little clarification on this entire topic would be very helpful.
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